No. 11 Marquette has little trouble beating Green Bay

MILWAUKEE -- After using at least 10 players in each of its first eight games, No. 11 Marquette was down to only eight against Wisconsin-Green Bay on Saturday night.

It didn't matter.

Jae Crowder had 21 points and seven rebounds, and Marquette had little trouble in beating the Phoenix 79-61 despite having to use new combinations on the court.

"Discombobulating, for them, for me," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said of his team playing short-handed. "I thought they probably handled it better than I did at times."

Marquette (9-0) won easily despite missing three players to injuries. Starting center Chris Otule (knee), and reserves Juan Anderson (shoulder) and Jamil Wilson (ankle) all watched in street clothes.

Williams said his team had trouble adjusting to new rotations.

"We were just out of sync at times, but I thought our guys were trying to hang in there and trying to get back in a groove," Williams said. "At times we did. At times we didn't."

It was another strong game for Crowder, who hit a 3-pointer with less than 7 seconds left to beat Washington 79-77 on Tuesday night. The 6-foot-8 senior made 7 of 12 shots, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and had three steals and two blocks.

It was the second consecutive blowout loss for Green Bay (4-6), which was beaten by Wisconsin 70-42 on Wednesday night.

The Phoenix couldn't contend with Marquette's defense, committing 25 turnovers that led to 34 points for the Golden Eagles.

"That's the story of the game," Green Bay coach Brian Wardle said. "The turnovers led to fast-break points, led to easy baskets for them. If we could have just taken care of the basket a little more, good things could have happened for us."

Sophomores Vander Blue and Davante Gardner each scored 14 points and had seven rebounds for Marquette, and freshman Todd Mayo and leading scorer Darius Johnson-Odom added 10 points apiece.

Alec Brown, Green Bay's 7-foot-1 sophomore center, had a career-high 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Phoenix. Terry Johnson had 10 points for Green Bay.

With Otule out, Green Bay outrebounded Marquette, 39-34. The 6-foot-11 center may be sidelined for an extended period.

"Chris is a big guy, he's a big factor," Blue said. "This puts a lot of responsibility on us guards.

"We have to get in there a little bit because we're not that big (with Otule out)," he said. "Chris is a big factor. He does a lot of little things. Coach tells us, 'Now everybody has to rebound. Now it's a team effort.'"

Green Bay had trouble shooting against the athletic Golden Eagles, making only 41 percent of its shots.

The Golden Eagles never trailed, using a 12-2 run to start the game and another 12-2 burst to open the second half.

After leading 32-23 at halftime, Crowder scored five points in the first 47 seconds of the second half.

Brennan Cougill scored on a layup for Green Bay, but Gardner scored five consecutive points and Blue scored on a thunderous dunk to give Marquette a 44-25 lead with 17:30 left.

The Phoenix never got within single digits again.

Marquette came out strong with each starter scoring a basket, including Johnson-Odom's driving layup that gave the Golden Eagles a 10-2 lead with 16:56 left in the first half. Blue then scored to make it 12-2 and Marquette never was seriously threatened.

Green Bay is coached by Brian Wardle, who played at Marquette from 1997-2001 and is the team's seventh-leading scorer with 1,690 points. Phoenix assistant Brian Barone was a teammate's of Wardle's at Marquette.

Marquette has final exams in the next week, so the team doesn't play again until Dec. 17 when it hosts Northern Colorado.

The Golden Eagles are not sure how long their injured players will be missing. Otule suffered an injured anterior cruciate ligament in the team's 79-77 victory over Washington in the Jimmy V Classic in New York City on Tuesday night.

Anderson suffered a shoulder injury in practice on Thursday and is expected to miss two to four weeks. Wilson injured his ankle during Friday's practice.

Green Bay hosts Michigan Tech on Tuesday night.